Aug 31, 2014

Report: Adams, Southern Wood Counties' Property Values Tumble; Proposed CAFO Site 'Red-lines' Area

Proposed Sand Valley Golf Resort
in Adams County in Central Wisconsin
is in area red-lined over concerns of
massive, proposed Wysocki CAFO
Update: Retired Rome, Wisconsin (Adams County) resident, Patt Pisellini, notes the new preferred name of CAFOs, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and Factory Farms is "Production Agriculture," a term she heard in an radio advertisement this morning.

Wisconsin Soil Survey by the U.S. Department of Agricultural-Natural Resources Conservation Service concludes: "Saratoga's sandy soil is not very suitable for the proposed land use. The report shows that Saratoga's soil is susceptible to blowing hazards, high seepage of sewage lagoons, and high susceptibility to concrete corrosion, among other concerns."

Naturally, the Wysocki Family of Companies wants to site a massive CAFO in Saratoga, surrounded by four counties.

No matter, perhaps we should rename the Wysocki Family of Companies: Sustainable agricultural practices. Actually, Wysocki already has, and it calls itself "family farmers" who are "dedicated to giving back to the community and employing sustainable agricultural practices" on its website.

Wyscoki leaves out the millions of tons of liquid cow manure it gives back to Adams and Wood counties, and other central Wisconsin communities with the misfortune of having CAFOs stuck in their backyards.
"In centrally located Adams County, (property) values tumbled 20.3 percent, the most of any county in the state," according to a new Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report. (See Logan T. Carlson, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune.)

On the surface, this drop in valuation is odd, considering that the region's "existing (lakes') recreational area developments like the Wisconsin Trapshooters home facility in Rome, and the Sand Valley Golf Resort just begun in Rome will have a positive impact on the entire area. ... Golf Digest suggests Sand Valley could be the 'Midwest Golf Mecca,' drawing people from all over the country," said retired business consultant, Donald Ystad, in an email today.

Indeed, the tourism and recreational potential to existing resorts in the area such in Lake Arrowhead and Northern Bay make this dream Sand Valley resort the type of synergistic economic engine that has people who don't even golf excited.

"We want to help the existing economy," Mike Keiser, often described as a golf "visionary," says modestly in Golf Digest (July 2014).

Aware of the success of the Bandon Dunes golf resort in the state of Oregon where Keiser built a golf resort that turned around an entire region, hard core golfers and recreational and tourism business owners in Wisconsin are gushing.

"A Chicago businessman who turned the tiny coastal town of Bandon, Ore., into one of the world's premier golf destinations is planning to build a similar multi-course resort on sand dunes that formed the bottom of a prehistoric lake in what is now Adams County," notes Gary D’Amato in a November 2013 piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "It would make Wisconsin the best summertime place for golf in the world," Keiser said.

At Bandon Dunes, "Six restaurants and lounges provide the fuel and a variety of accommodations -- from single rooms to spacious four-bedroom cottages -- offer a peaceful escape where guests can relax, rest and revive," boasts the Bandon Dunes site.

Proposed Massive Golden Sands Dairy,
 in Adams and Wood Counties, Wisconsin
Enter the liquid cow manure invading the peaceful, relaxing escape.

Recent area beach closings from manure-generated Ecoli, private drinking wells polluted, and area lakes being added to the DNR impaired list make this area suspect with clear and present potential to knock Mike Keiser's dream out of Wisconsin.

Leading the central Wisconsin counties in property value declines between 2008-13 are Adams (- 20.3 percent), Juneau (- 15.7 percent), and Waushara (- 11.5 percent) (site of the Richfield CAFO in the Village of Coloma). Wood County is a stagnant - 0.7 percent.

"Speaking with our (Town of Saratoga) neighbors in (southern Wood County), the threat of the proposed CAFO has created an informal 'red lining' of homes in the area of 10-Mile and 7-Mile Creeks (located in the middle of the proposed CAFO site). Rumor has it that banks have turned down mortgages for properties there because of the unknowns associated with the proposed CAFO, even with prices 20 percent below assessed (values)," said Ystad.

Said another Adams County resident, "This CAFO is going to bring our property values back to the great recession days six years ago; it's crazy politicians are letting this happen, even considering this. Water, land, private property, what's next?"

The Wysocki Family of Companies, whose corporate officers live safely away from their CAFOs are to blame.

Scott Walker's new "presumptive approval" policies of CAFOs and high capacity water permits at the DNR "appear to correspond to a proposal the state’s powerful Dairy Business Association has put forward for 'automatic approval' of permits if the state environmental agency does not reach a decision within six months." (Diana Jean Schemo, Remapping Debate)

Continues Schemo:

Kimberly Wright, executive director of the Midwest Environmental Advocates, pointed to Rosendale Dairy, Wisconsin’s largest industrial farm and the state’s fourth largest source of sewage, lagging only behind the cities of Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay. "People would think you’re crazy if the fourth biggest city in the state figured in six months what to do with runoff from all its waste" she said.
Crazy is right, and corrupt and destructive to a state once known for its natural resources and clean politics.

Safe Water and Protected Land in Wisconsin—A Winning Commitment

"The power to enforce the important, federal Clean Water Act that protects waters like Lake Superior is delegated to states' natural resources agencies by the EPA. If state government fails to protect water, the EPA has the power, and the responsibility, to step in," notes the Midwest Environmental Advocates (Facebook)

Wisconsin gubernatorial candidates also have the power and responsibility to step it.

If the two major candidates share a common assumption that Wisconsin voters will choose to vote for one candidate out of repulsion for the other, consider the possibility that many famously unpredictable Wisconsin voters will register a protest vote, effectively stating, 'the hell with these two politicians,' in the absence of the candidates appearing in person and addressing issues such as clean and safe water, and safeguarding Wisconsin's pristine wilderness and habitats up north.

How many campaign appearances has Burke and Walker made to areas with lakes, streams and aquifers devastated by pathogens from liquid cow manure runoff? How many times have they visited Iron and Ashland counties, the proposed site of the massive GTac open pit iron ore mine?

The wavy lines to the right are called Lake Michigan, a
large body of water next to Wisconsin for the benefit
of the Mary Burke campaign
Campaign travel suggestion to Mary Burke: Get your ass up to Iron County, talk to Citizens Concerned about the proposed Penokee Mine, ask Joel Austin to take you to Rouse Falls; talk to Nick Vander Puy to get the 'News from the Front;' head southeast and talk to the folks in Kewaunee [citizens' groups at KewauneeCares and Restore Kewaunee] and then drive southwest to Wood and Adams counties.
Thousands of people from the surrounding counties in central Wisconsin would meet you  and talk about safeguarding the water for their children, their grandchildren and protecting the tourism and recreation industry; just don't swim in Lake Camelot or any other lake for that matter or swallow any water from the lakes under any condition.

Contrary to conventional political wisdom, voters are disaffected by both parties, or in Bernie Sanders' words, "people are profoundly disgusted ... and people want to hear voices saying, 'enough is enough' ... ."

Land - No place to devastate with an open pit mine

Aug 30, 2014

No Urgency from Either Gov. Candidate to Protect Wisconsin Waters

Raiders' Jack Tatum hits Sammy White
in Super Bowl XI in Most Vicious Hit
in Super Bowl History in 1977
Think of the Oakland Raiders' Jack Tatum hitting the Vikings' Sammy White in Super Bowl XI. (pictured at right), the scariest hit in Super Bowl history.

That's the political impact Mary Burke needs to inflict on Scott Walker and Walker's DNR to move the folks in Waushara, Portage, Wood, Adams, Juneau, and Kewaunee counties, for example, to vote for her to defend their children's health; their drinking water; and Wisconsin lakes, rivers, and streams.

People care about drinking water (duh), and about Wisconsin tourism and recreation, but Mary Burke, outside of a couple of hits in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Wisconsin State Journal refuses to sell it: Scott Walker is pathological in destroying Wisconsin's waters. He simply doesn't care about the damage inflicted onto the environment or people of Wisconsin through his policies.

The Wisconsin DNR has this to say about Wisconsin's lakes: "It's easy to fall in love with Wisconsin's 15,000 lakes. Breathtaking scenery and beautiful wildlife provide the backdrop along thousands of miles of shoreline, where Wisconsin residents and our visitors can fish, boat, swim or just relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere."

Bullshit, or more precisely dairy cow shit as runoff and other vectoring of wastewater are turning Wisconsin lakes into biohazards to the utter inaction of Wisconsin politicians.

Why would an Illinois tourist (or any tourist) want to come to Wisconsin, when Minnesota is committed to protecting their lakes, and in Wisconsin both candidates for governor are too afraid of the Dairy Business Association to defend the water?

We know that Mary Burke cares about the environment -- so why isn't she acting on these sentiments while running for governor?

If Burke has a problem being motivated by old Super Bowl footage, think of the girl who almost died from ecoli in Kewaunee in northeast Wisconsin. Her family won't forget.

Now, Kewaunee has vast well contamination, dead zones, and poisoned aquifers that resemble third-world countries' drinking water.

'There's no one on the beach anymore.'
Consider Wisconsin lakes and the image at the right: "Do not Swim." It's a hell of new tourism slogan, I'll give that to Mary Burke and Scott Walker.

Myself, I getting more pissed hearing news from wonderful people like Patt Pisellini and Donald Ystad of northern Adams County that they cannot have their grandchildren over for swimming at their lake homes because literally they fear for their grandchildren's lives if the children were to accidentally swallow lake water while swimming.

Mary Burke needs to set up field offices fast and connect with Protect Wood County, Rome and Saratoga Friendly, KewauneeCares, Restore Kewaunee, and Friends of the Central Sands, and Concerned Citizens about the Proposed Penokee Mine - to begin with.

Mary Burke, what are you waiting for?

Aug 29, 2014

Kewaunee County in Wisconsin: Urgent Message to Wood County, Wisconsin, and Country

Kewaunee Cares
The M-word Is MOO as Big Ag and Its Political Cover Destroy Wisconsin Waters -
May 2014: 556 Water Wells Are Tested; 30 Percent of Wells Are UNDRINKABLE

- Nobody is on the beaches anymore today. Trout streams are dying or gone -

Many in Wisconsin know the story of the families in Kewaunee County in northeast Wisconsin and the ecoli contamination in 2004 from a Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation (CAFO) that leaked liquid cow manure, hospitalized many, and nearly killed several children.

Today, water aquifers are contaminated with virus, bacteria, and other pathogens typically found in third-world countries—bad for tourism and recreation; horrible for the environment; and tragic for Wisconsin families who are afraid of their children brushing their teeth or washing out a small cut or scrape with water from a faucet.

The "carrying capacities" of the Green Bay and Fox River Valley watersheds have been exceeded, warns Gordon Stevenson, Chief of Runoff Management for Wisconsin DNR (2001-2011). And that goes for the Golden Sands region in central Wisconsin as well.

'How do you know that? How do we quantify empirically the carrying capacity of a region,' I asked Stevenson over an early August breakfast in Madison.

"Look at the water," replied Stevenson firmly. "Measure for pathogens, oxygen levels; and inspect the topography of the region."

Stevenson, a rigorous empiricist to the point of being turgid, said Wisconsin will eventually see "dead zones" in lakes become dead lakes because of oxygen deprivation and toxic pathogen saturation.

Even as Scott Walker, along with every Republican and way-too many Democrats, acclaim the 30-20-Initiative, market-driven, setting targets for yields and profits for Wisconsin Diary operations, existing 'nutrient management plans' are a disgrace and are a guarantee for turning Wisconsin lakes, streams, ponds, and aquifers into dead zones and potentially deadly zones.

Wood, Adams, Juneau, Portage and Waushara counties in central Wisconsin are on a trajectory that residents and scientists agree can be changed from where Kewaunee is now and the direction in which Kewaunee is racing ahead; as politicians and the DNR do NOTHING with numerous CAFO permits pending and Scott Walker promising swift action on moving the permits forward.

From Kewaunee: Kewaunee's Message to Wood County and Wisconsin:

Aug 27, 2014

Wisconsin Republicans Fear Their Positions on Clean and Safe Water

Beaches closed in Wood
and Adams counties last week
suggest a problem
politicians ignore
I couldn't believe it when State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids) threatened to sue me for libel for pointing out Krug practices a cynical, corrupt brand of politics hiding policies vectoring pathogens into lakes, streams and aquifers. (See the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune.)

I called around political-journalistic types and asked candidly if Krug were really this foolish to file a libel suit?

Yes, is the universal answer, and Krug reiterated his threats twice to me in emails, asking for retractions.

I told Krug in so many words that truth is a compelling defense against libel accusations, and laughed when I refused to retract the truth of Krug's sleazy lies.

Krug is panicked and his attack was foolish and revealing of his floundering campaign.

The significance of this matter is not just a corrupt politician trying to shut down a writer exposing Krug for what he is.

The critical nature of this issue, and why other politicians are getting panicked, came late this afternoon in an email from Nancy Koch with Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors.

Writes Koch:
Update: Blue green algae has been found at the 8th street intake to (L)ake Camelot. Adams County has taken sample(s), and is testing for dangerous toxicity, but the results will not be available by this weekend. It is recommended you keep children and pets out of the water on Lakes Camelot and Sherwood.

Please, notify your friends and neighbors who do not have the internet.

Central Wisconsin Nature (Foundation). ... It was observed originally last week (8/19) and a sample taken showed under the microscope that it was a certain type of algae which sometimes may contain blue-green algae. Further testing was required to determine if it was a type of toxic blue-green algae. When Reesa Evans went to get additional samples on Mon 8/25, the suspicious algae had been dispersed (probably by a combination of wind and the heavy downpour Monday morning). No additional samples have been taken as nothing suspicious was found on lower Camelot, in the channel or in upper Camelot by Reesa. The cautionary signs that were posted at the county park and the 8th ave boat landing last weekend have been removed. There seems to be no danger for swimming at this time -- but, it's always advisable to be cautious if the water is so green you can't see your feet in a foot of water or if the water surface is very scummy. Barb Herreid, Tri-Lakes Management District
Keep your children out of the water. That's what this issue is about.

Scott Walker Administration Is Blind or Uncaring about Wisconsin Waters

'I’m all for growing dairy farms in our great state, but not at the expense of our drinking water'

Wisconsin is giving out grants, loans, and tax breaks to toxify and drain our waters, arguably Wisconsin's most valuable natural resource.

Of course, no one in Wisconsin government will tell citizens these facts of the so-called 30x20 Dairy initiative, a give-away to Big Ag and a take-away and poisoning project for everyone else.

The goal of the 30x20 Initiative is to "(i)mprove the long-term viability of Wisconsin’s dairy industry through services to achieve an annual milk production of 30 billion pounds by 2020 to meet the growing demand of the marketplace," reads the 30x20 initiative on the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection site.

This means bigger Dairy operations, and a government-sponsored means of vectoring liquid cow manure into Wisconsin streams, lakes and aquifers (from which a majority of regions get their drinking water).

Wisconsin politicians are too cowed by the Dairy Business Association, a repulsive lot, to oppose the 30x20 plan that is completely market-driven and does mention one word about water, literally not one word, not one word about the environment, and not one word about families' health from Ecoli and other pathogens directed into Wisconsin waters.

So, this morning we read Scot Walker sent out her Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch to cheerlead for America's Dairyland, as usual not mentioning water, health or the environment.

Kleefisch's piece is simplistic rah rah, intended as a distraction to what liquid cow manure runoff inflicts onto Wisconsin. See the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune this morning for her piece.

To hear the facts, listen to environmentalists because Wisconsin will reach a tipping point when fishing, swimming and even playing on beaches are distant memories if we maintain the same reckless trajectory.

"The marketplace trumps everything else in terms of policy discussions about agricultural runoff and water quality.  Two contemporary examples: On the livestock front, Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Program seeks to expand Wisconsin’s milk production from the current 26.1 billion pounds to 30 billion pounds in order to meet a growing market demand.  That translates to a 13% increase in dairy cattle. That will mean an increment of almost 200,000 more dairy cows in Wisconsin, emailed Gordon Stevenson, Chief of Runoff Management for the Wisconsin DNR from 2001-2011. "In terms of organic pollution potential, that increment is equivalent to a human population of greater than 3.5 million people. That’s bigger than the human population of Chicago and nearly as big as Los Angeles, California.  Of course, Chicago and LA have sewage treatment plants. The additional dairy cattle in Wisconsin won’t. Ironically, the hotbeds of dairy cattle expansion in Wisconsin are in Northeastern Wisconsin and the Central Sands."

On the crop front, we remain to be in the midst of a corn boom; motivated by the ethanol mandate as well as expanding international marketing opportunities. The result is that more than a quarter million acres that had recently been under conservation protection in Wisconsin are now back in crop production with a 20% increase in soil erosion, associated soil loss, water body sedimentation and resultant water resource pathology."

Silence equals acceptance and a betrayal of our children for whom Wisconsin used to promise to be good stewards of the environment, a promise called The Public Trust Doctrine.

"Wisconsin waters are at a crisis point. ... The benefits of public access to water were so basic to Wisconsin's very existence and definition that Congress guaranteed it in 1787 — before statehood — and public water rights are now inscribed in the Wisconsin Constitution as Article IX, 'The Public Trust Doctrine.] ... But Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP-run Legislature are systematically draining the Public Trust Doctrine from law and programs through power politics and party-line votes, making water access and management into private-sector tools. Through complacent, shortsighted and partisan behavior, these politicians are disconnecting wetlands from their ecosystems and also disconnecting Wisconsin from imperative local-to-international water conservation planning," writes Jim Rowen (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

Another formulation of these facts comes from our friend, Don Ystad in Rome, Wisconsin fighting off the greedy and short-sighted:

Emails Ystad: "Many generations of my family were Wisconsin dairy farmers.  Rebecca Kleefisch’ recent article about 'Growing Wisconsin’s Great Dairy Industry' would normally be received as great news. But, she failed to mention that over 30% of the wells in Kewaunee County are polluted by manure runoff, that a farm in Spencer allowed manure to over run for a year, spilling into the Little Eau Plaine River, that beaches at Wazeecha and Nepco in Wood County are closed because of e coli from manure runoff, that the dairy CAFO in Armenia has been ordered by the DNR to drain it’s manure pit to inspect for leaks, that the very lakes she can see from her office window in Madison are polluted from ag runoff.  Instead, she and others in the administration have a blind eye to the
ever increasing water quality issues reported all over Wisconsin. I’m all for growing dairy farms in our great state, but not at the expense of our drinking water.  And, I would encourage tax breaks for family farms instead of the huge corporate factory farm contributors behind this push. Not one word about a cautious approach to this increase in dairy, or a reasonable balance with the environment. Are we back in the early 1900s when industry road roughshod over the environment?  I’m tired of the greed and the business at all costs mentality. Unless you are a wealthy corporate factory farmer, you have to question how this benefits you."

Aug 26, 2014

Citizen Ystad Speaks on Water Resources; Looking for Action

CAFO and liquid manure spraying are
killing Wisconsin waters -
Image from the Wisconsin
Initiative on Climate Change Impact
Citizens working with Saratoga Concerned and Rome Saratoga Friendly attended a Groundwater Summit this last weekend in Almond, Wisconsin in Portage County sponsored by the Central Sands Water Action Committee.

Residents in Juneau, Wood, Adams, Portage and Waushara counties should be on Code Red, as should all whole state.

Donald Ystad of Rome, Wisconsin is ready to go 15 rounds to protect Wisconsin's waters from polluters and cynical politicians. And Ystad is not alone.

The latest from Mr. Ystad:

As you can see from Rep Shankland's e-mail [below], the fight is far from over.  Ag lobbyists are working over their favorite lawmakers already. This will result in additional bills proposed to loosen what controls remain for protecting our water. We need to exercise our court of public opinion.  That's you and me, e-mailing and commenting on our water issues, and the threat to our growing recreational environment.  If you see an e-mail from me or a core group member titled action needed', please take the time to do a reply all so that the politicians and agency heads will know it's not just a handful of us who are concerned,

Ystad refers to Rep Shankland's (D-Stevens Point) note to Ystad and Bruce Dimick of Wood County:

Hi Bruce and Don,

It was great to see you both on Friday! Thank you for your thoughtful advocacy. I wanted to share with you this excerpt from the Wheeler Report on Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald’s priorities in January:

High capacity wells is an issue Fitzgerald said the Senate will be working on in 2015.  Fitzgerald said the Senate began working on the issue as a caucus but it fell victim to two major problems, a clear definition of the issue to be addressed and the end of session.  Fitzgerald highlighted the efforts of Sen. Kedzie working on high capacity wells to address a court case in his district while other members of the caucus wanted to address the issue on a statewide basis.  One of the major focuses for the caucus concerning high capacity wells is agriculture.  Fitzgerald said when the Senate returns it will be one issue his caucus will address. Fitzgerald said his caucus is also ready to work on reforms to workers compensation.  Fitzgerald said the caucus wanted to start reforms to the program during the 2013 session but ran out of time.

It looks like it could be SB 302 or worse. Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you very much!

Katrina Shankland
State Representative
71st Assembly District

Also from Ystad comes his very latest:

Even Nestle knows agriculture needs to clean up it's act‏

Politicians and agency people,

Perhaps you already knew that Nestle, the worldwide beverage and food company, has taken steps to insure the long term viability of it's food and water sources, and to insure their good reputation in the marketplace.  If you were already aware, shame on you for allowing them to upstage you and take these steps before you did.  After all, they're a for profit company, while you are the protectors of our state's resources.  They evidently see very clearly that the public is becoming more and more concerned about the abuse of animals and the damage to our natural resources caused by weakened laws and reckless farming practices.
Here in the Rome and Saratoga recreational area, we face the prospect of a 5,130 cow dairy CAFO right in our backyard, threatening class "A" trout streams, lakes, and a vibrant recreational tourist area.  It's incomprehensible that this administration could allow this to happen.  We read every day about manure spills, beach closings, e coli in our lakes, increasing nitrate and phosphorous levels in our lakes, water levels dropping in our lakes and streams, and drinking water befouled by manure runoff.  You'd have to live in a cave not to take notice about what's happening to our environment.  And yet, a for profit company is taking steps to protect and preserve, while we hear that certain ag friendly politicians are gearing up to take another run at further weakening our environmental laws.  What's happened to the Public Trust Doctrine?  Is anybody listening in Madison?

I'm a concerned citizen and I vote, as do many of the hundreds blind copied here.
Don Ystad
Rome, WI

Nestlé Announces New Animal Welfare Program that Will Impact Its Suppliers

August 21, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Nestlé has just signed an agreement with World Animal Protection, an animal welfare organization based in London. The result is that hundreds of thousands of farms that supply Nestlé will have to comply with tighter animal welfare standards. Here is the company's complete statement on the agreement.

World Animal Protection has been working with Nestlé on how to strengthen it's current sourcing requirements, which already include spacing standards for livestock pens. Going forward, the company plans to eliminate the use of a variety of other practices by suppliers, such as the use of veal crates, cattle dehorning, swine gestation crates, poultry cage systems and methods that artificially speed the growth of animals. The company has also identified the following dairy farming/processing "priority areas" for improvement:
  1. Manure management
  2. Water savings
  3. Control and reduction of pollutants loads in effluents
  4. Reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery of waste and by-products
Nestlé will begin a monitoring program to better understand and track the status of animal practices on farms. This will involve monitoring by an independent auditing firm that will be supervised by World Animal Protection. If a violation of company policy is found, Nestlé will work with the supplier so the farm can meet the required standards. If violations persist, Nestlé will stop doing business with the farm.

Judges Hostile to Anti-Marriage Equality; Hate as Tradition Is No Argument

Carol Schumacher and Virginia Wolf
Hear the oral arguments in which brilliant legal minds lecture a Wisconsin DOJ attorney. Enter 14-2526 for orals in Virginia Wolf v. Scott Walker.

The we-don't-like-gays argument because of tradition meets cold reception in oral arguments in before an appellate court this morning.

All the Republican Party has in its legal arguments is hate and bigotry, backed by "tradition."

"Do you have anything besides tradition," asked Judge Posner at the Nine-minute, eight-second mark.

Later Posner asked: "... "The tradition is based on hate, isn't it. You don't think there is a history of rather savage discrimination ... ?"

Posner asked, "What is the rational basis for a legislative choice for denying same-sex marriage?"

Posner ripped into Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson throughout the oral arguments.

"Look, answer my question, who is being helped by this law?" demanded Posner.

A federal court panel hearing the gay marriage equality case before the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit was hostile this morning to hate as "tradition," ala Loving v. Virginia (1967) as legal argument.

Reports Annie Sweeney and Meredith Rodriguez from the Chicago Tribune:

Judge Richard Posner waited just seconds before interrupting the solicitor general from Indiana, beginning a line of questioning about why children of same-sex couples should not be allowed to have legally married parents, as do children of heterosexual couples.

To press his point, Posner told a fictitious story of a 6-year-old forced to go to school and see that he is different from his classmates.

Reports Patrick Marley from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

A three-judge panel from a federal appeals court on Tuesday closely questioned Wisconsin and Indiana's bans on same-sex marriage, with one judge calling parts of the Great Lakes states' arguments "absurd" and "ridiculous."

"These people and their adopted children are harmed by your law," Judge Richard Posner said of gay and lesbian couples who are barred from getting married. "The question is what is the offsetting benefit of your law. Who is being helped?" ...

Posner, who at times appeared to lecture the attorneys defending the bans, focused on the ability of same-sex couples to adopt children. He noted adopted children would benefit if their parents could claim the tax breaks and other perks of being married.

"These children would be better off if their parents could marry, no? It's obvious," Posner said.

The Associated Press' Michael Tarm offered a similar report:

Judge Richard Posner, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, was dismissive when Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson repeatedly pointed to 'tradition' as the underlying justification for barring gay marriage.

"It was tradition to not allow blacks and whites to marry — a tradition that got swept away," Posner said. Prohibition of same sex marriage, he said, is "a tradition of hate ... and savage discrimination."
Posner frequently cut off Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher, just moments into his presentation and chided him to answer his questions.

At one point, Posner ran through a list of psychological strains of unmarried same-sex couples, including having to struggle to grasp why their schoolmates' parents were married and theirs weren't.

"What horrible stuff," Posner said. What benefits to society in barring gay marriage, he asked, "outweighs that kind of damage to children?"

The answer has to do with "procreation," Fisher answered.

In purely political terms, Scott Walker and J.B. Van Hollen would do well to drop the case, Walker v. Wolf (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel document), as pro-marriage equality is spreading like wildfire.

Scott Walker apparently feels he needs the religious right on the issue facing a tough reelection bid, and Walker remains a religious right extremist in his own ideology expressed throughout his political career.

As for Judge Richard Posner, I feel deeply moved by this mind.

Aug 25, 2014

Wisconsin Marriage Equality Case to Be Heard Tuesday in Federal Appellate Court

Wisconsin's historic ruling for marriage equity will be heard Tuesday, August 26, by a three-Judge panel of the Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit.

The federal case in Wisconsin is consolidated with a case from Indiana, Walker v. Wolf (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel document) and Baskin v. Zoeller respectively, both of which have been fast-tracked as the federal court system has issued numerous rulings in favor of liberty and equality.

"The panel that sped up the case consists of Judges Richard Posner, Ann Claire Williams and David Hamilton. Posner and Williams were appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and Hamilton was appointed by President Bill Clinton," note Patrick Marley and Dana Ferguson (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

Posner is a public intellectual and is widely regarded as one of the top legal minds in the country, having moved sharply away from rightwing jurisprudence in recent years since being appointed to the bench in 1981.

The Republican Party, including Scott Walker facing a tough reelection, is moving away politically from openly opposing marriage equality as an fast-moving public opinion is acclaiming liberty and marriage equity, adopting the due process and equal protection of marriage equity advocates.

From the Human Rights Campaign:

Cases to be heard on appeal after federal district courts ruled states’ marriage bans unconstitutional

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, August 26th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit will hear arguments in court cases from Indiana and Wisconsin in which federal district courts ruled against the states’ bans on marriage for same-sex couples.  Baskin v. Bogan of Indiana which was consolidated with Lee v. Pence and Midori Fujii v. State of Indiana – and Wisconsin's Walker v. Wolf are slated to go before a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit at 9:30am CT.  In total there have been twenty federal court rulings against bans on marriage equality across the country – seventeen federal district court rulings and three circuit court rulings upholding district court rulings – all since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor in June of last year.

“The patchwork of marriage laws across the country that exists today is simply unsustainable,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Legal Director Sarah Warbelow.  “Every day that passes with these discriminatory marriage bans still on the books is another day that injustice prevails.  Committed and loving gay and lesbian couples in Indiana and Wisconsin deserve to have their relationships recognized as valid under the law, just like everyone else.”


Indiana – On June 25th, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young ruled that Indiana’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional.  The ruling covered three separate cases: Baskin vs. Bogan, Fujii v. State of Indiana, and Lee v. Pence.  Judge Young did not stay the ruling, and couples immediately began marrying.  Previously the court granted emergency relief for one of the plaintiff couples in the Baskin case, ordering the state to recognize their marriage as one of the women is battling terminal cancer.  Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller appealed Judge Young’s ruling, as well as the court order compelling the state to recognize the plaintiff couple’s marriage, and requested a stay of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  On June 27th, 2014, the Seventh Circuit granted Attorney General Zoeller’s stay request, and also consolidated the three marriage cases for the appeal.  Three days later, the Seventh Circuit issued an order forcing the state to continue recognizing the marriage of the individual plaintiff couple battling illness.  The plaintiffs in Baskin v. Bogan are represented by attorneys from Lambda Legal and the law firm of Kirkland and Ellis LLP.  The Fujii plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU and LeMieux Law Office.  And the plaintiffs’ attorneys in Lee v. Pence are with Austin & Jones, P.C.; Fillenwarth Dennerline Groth & Towe, LLP; Sniderman Nguyen, LLP; and Sweeney Law Group, LLC.

Wisconsin – On June 6, 2014, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled against Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.  In Wolf v. Walker, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Wisconsin and the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP sued the state on behalf of four couples seeking to marry, arguing that the Wisconsin’s ban on marriage equality violates the couples’ due process and equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Judge Crabb did not stay her ruling, but also left unclear whether the state should stop enforcing the ban.  Couples began marrying in the state and Wisconsin officials requested a stay from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, but were denied, with the appeals court saying Judge Crabb had still not issued final judgment. Ultimately, Judge Crabb stayed her ruling, citing the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision to halt marriages in Utah following a similar federal court ruling striking down that state’s marriage equality ban.


There are over 70 court cases challenging discriminatory marriage bans across the country in 30 of the 31 states where such a ban exists, plus Puerto Rico.  Aside from the two cases before the Seventh Circuit, cases from nine other states are currently pending before four federal appeals courts.  The Tenth and Fourth Circuits both recently upheld rulings striking down state bans on marriage equality – Kitchen v. Herbert of Utah and Bishop v. Smith of Oklahoma in the Tenth Circuit, and Bostic v. Shaefer of Virginia in the Fourth Circuit.  In total, 33 states either have marriage equality or have seen state marriage bans struck down as unconstitutional in federal or state court.  Since the Supreme Court’s historic marriage rulings last year, there have been 20 consecutive federal court decisions that bans on marriage equality are unconstitutional.  These rulings have come from judges appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents.

The Supreme Court is under no obligation as to which case or cases – if any – it choses to hear on appeal.   However, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently told reporters the Court will not “duck” a marriage case.  "I think the court will not do what they did in the old days when they continually ducked the issue of miscegenation," Ginsburg said. "If a case is properly before the court, they will take it."

Gallup puts support for marriage equality at 55 percent – an astonishing 15 points increase from just 5 years ago – with other polls showing support at even higher margins.  And support for same-sex marriage rights continues to grow in virtually every demographic group.  According to ABC News / Washington Post, 77 percent of adults under age 30 favor marriage equality.  40 percent of Republicans – an all-time high and jump of 16 points in under two years – now support marriage for gay and lesbian couples, while the number of Catholics supporting marriage has grown to 62 percent, according to the New York Times.  These numbers continue to grow, with no indication that support will slow down.

Same-sex couples can legally marry in nineteen states and the District of Columbia, while 31 states have a law or constitutional amendment restricting marriage to the union of one man and one woman.  For more information on this and other marriage equality cases across the country, visit
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Rep. Scott Krug Is No-show at August Groundwater Summit; "Unannounced absence"

State Rep. Scott Krug is not fit
for public office
Wisconsin State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) would promise everyone the Chicago Cubs are going to win the National League Pennant if Krug thought he could pull off this latest con job, amid a string of broken promises

Saratoga Concerned and Rome Saratoga Friendly are two citizens' organizations in Wood and Adams counties opposing a proposed massive concentrated agricultural feeding operation (CAFO), high capacity water wells given out like candy to anti-environmental corporations and liquid manure spraying.

The two groups were formed in 2012 when the Wysocki 'Family' of Companies informed the Town of Saratoga and other municipal governments that Wysocki would be building a massive CAFO that would produce between 50 to 60-million gallons of liquid cow manure every year [about the equivalent of a city of 100,000 people) but with no wastewater treatment plant, just vague nutrient runoff plans.

Scott Walker and the Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp (appointed by Walker) have announced repeatedly since 2011 their intentions to clear the way for CAFOs and Frac sand operations, without regard to the cumulative health and environmental consequences.

Continuing their work members of Saratoga Concerned and Rome Saratoga Friendly held attended a Groundwater Summit this last weekend in Almond, Wisconsin in Portage County at the Camp Helen Brachman grounds, along the shore of Pickerel Lake State Natural Area in central Wisconsin. The event was sponsored by the Central Sands Water Action Committee.

State Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) and State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) both made good on their scheduled attendance and spoke with the crowd.

State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) stiffed the crowd, not showing up as scheduled, with no call or explanation for his absence.

Typical Krug, a cynical and corrupt politician working with Big Ag to vector liquid cow manure into streams, lakes and aquifers with tragic consequences, getting worse.

From Criste Greening of Wisconsin Rapids and Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors:

August Groundwater Summit

This was a key environmental conference held at Camp Helen Brachman in Almond this past Saturday with the primary emphasis being on protecting our ground and surface waters here in the Central Sands.  Three of our local politicians were invited to attend and scheduled to speak at the conference, they were: Julie Lassa, Scott Krug, and Katrina Shankland.  Both Rep. Lassa and Rep. Shankland made the event and spoke frankly with the 80-100 individuals in attendance regarding groundwater concerns. Unfortunately Rep. Krug did not show and did not relay to the organizers any reasons for his unannounced absence. Thank you to the members of our small group for being apart of our larger state network and representing our area interests at the Groundwater Summit. [emphasis added]
Scott Krug is making a name for himself breaking promises.

Elected in 2010, Krug promised "never" to accept "one cent" of per diem payments from the taxpayer, and then Krug broke this campaign promise after realizing he would not paid per diem payments that he promised never to accept.

"My first spending cut is promising not to collect one cent of (legislative) per diem money ever," Krug told the Wisconsin State Journal in 2010. Krug then proceeded to rake in "$10,560 for 120 days of work in Madison. That comes on top of his salary of $49,943 per year." (Bice, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; May 2, 2104)

Krug also promised that he would serve two terms, and that's it. Krug told a League of Women's Voters forum on October 20, 2010, saying: "I'm for real. ... I'm putting a term limit on myself right now for all the audience out there listening. Four years — done. Whoever else wants to come along, more than fine." (Bice, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; May 12, 2014)

Running now for his third term, Krug is breaking his two-term-only promise.

Last week, after I pointed out how corrupt and cynical Krug is and how he betrays his constituents by pushing policies that toxify lakes, streams and aquifers, Krug vowed to file a libel suit against me unless I retracted this linked post—Citizen Ystad Hits Sacred Cow, the Dairy Business Association, as Wisconsin Lakes Perish—and after I refused Krug backed down, ridiculed among political journalists all over Wisconsin media.
The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin)
on Scott Krug's foolish attempt to
silence criticism

I asked a longtime resident of Wood County what is Krug's deal, and the resident told me, "Krug is like a child, and prone to tantrums when criticized."

Two days later, Krug said he is coming out against the  proposed massive Wysocki CAFO and new high capacity water permits draining the region's lakes and streams, after almost three years of refusing to take a position on this highly charged local issue with national implications.

Krug refused to expand his new position and come out against existing CAFOs in or near his assembly district, and refused to take a position on liquid cow manure spraying, the culprit behind the recent ordered closure of area beaches because of massive levels of Ecoli.

As this site has noted, opposing the Wysocki CAFO is better than telling Wysocki CAFO opponent, Nancy Koch, to "quit your bitching," as Scott Krug said on July 19, 2012 at a special Saratoga Town Board meeting drawing 100s of people held at the Wisconsin Rapids Performing Arts Center.

"It's obvious that the real reason for Representative Krug's sudden opposition to the CAFO in Saratoga and its high capacity wells has more to do with his floundering campaign than the high e coli levels in Nepco Lake and Lake Wazeecha," said Dana Duncan, Democratic Assembly Candidate for the 72nd assembly district now held by Krug. "For nearly three years local residents have vocally expressed their opposition to this project and up until now my opponent has refused to take a position on this critical local issue.

"This sudden change of heart on this critical local issue by my opponent is just a cynical attempt to distract voters from the fact that he has been wrong on this issue for nearly three years. This isn't leadership; this is simply a bold-face attempt at political manipulation. First, per diem, then term limits; how many other positions will he change to try to win this election?" 

When one hears Scott Krug, not much is clear beyond the fact Krug is untrustworthy and not fit for office.

Aug 24, 2014

Scott Walker Criminality Seen in Black and White

Penokee Hills in northern Wisconsin -
Gogebic Taconite LLC shelled out money
to Wisconsin GOP candidates and the GOP
to gain permission to rip a massive
open pit mine in this pristine region.
Gogebic Taconite LLC (GTac) wants to build the largest open iron ore pit mine in North America, ripping a 1,000-foot pit in the center in the lush Penokee Hills in far-northern Wisconsin in Iron and Ashland counties, and Scott Walker illegally coordinated with at least one group to help GTac inflict this environmental catastrophe onto this region that would "fill in pristine streams and ponds with mine waste" (Kaufman, NYT).

Scott Walker and the Republican Party allies want the GTac mine to proceed for the money, their money--their monetary gain.

Wisconsin law enforcement documents released by court
show Scott Walker illegally sought millions of
dollars in campaign financing
[see Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel].
"According to documents released [August 22, 2014]in a John Doe probe, Wisconsin Club for Growth bank records indicate that Gogebic Taconite LLC gave $700,000 to [R.J.] Johnson's [of the Scott Walker campaign] group in 2011-12. Shortly after the recall elections, Republican lawmakers and Walker approved legislation that will make it easier for Gogebic to construct an iron-ore mine in northern Wisconsin." (John Doe documents released Friday also show a secret $700,000 donation from Gogebic to a pro-Gov. Scott Walker group (Marley, Bice and Bergquist, Milwaukee-Journal-Sentinel)). ...

"The Governor is encouraging all to invest in the Wisconsin Club for Growth," said an April 28, 2011, email from Kate Doner, a Walker campaign consultant, to R.J. Johnson, an adviser to Walker's campaign and the advocacy group. "Wisconsin Club for Growth can accept corporate and personal donations without limitations and no donors disclosure."

In the email, Doner wrote to Johnson that Walker wanted Wisconsin Club for Growth exclusively to coordinate campaign themes. "As the Governor discussed ... he wants all the issue advocacy efforts run thru one group to ensure correct messaging," she wrote.

These documents demonstrate the prosecution's theory of illegal campaign finance coordination committed by the Walker campaign and by Walker himself. This is the smoking gun.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has been all over this story from the beginning as probes by Wisconsin Constitutional law enforcement officers looking into possible criminality have caused panic in Wisconsin GOP circles. See Wisconsin John Doe I (2010-2013) DA: Scott Walker's stonewalling and stalling caused John Doe probe (Bice); and John Doe II: Secret probe spreads to five Wisconsin counties - Possible violations during recall elections among issues (Bice).

Scott Walker refuses to engage any facts or released documents, leaving spokespersons to state: Scott Walker is not a targeta non sequitur since no one is a target in a Wisconsin John Doe probe that is empowered by Wisconsin stature to determine if and by whom (the nature and the extant) crimes may have been committed.

I asked a well-informed law enforcement jurist if anyone ever becomes a "target" in Wisconsin John Doe probes. "Sure, [the jurist said], if that someone is charged with a crime."

Then the criminal justice system begins, and the John Doe probe closes.

Being subpoenaed in a John Doe probe is indicative of nothing, other than the fact that a John Doe investigative team, overseen by a judge, wants sworn testimony or evidence that assists an investigative team into looking at possible criminality.

In the John Doe II case, Scott Walker appears to be at the center of possible criminality in illegally coordinating contributions in violation of Wisconsin campaign finance law.

So, a corrupt federal judge and member of the Federalist Society, Rudolph Randa, halted the John Doe probe in May 2014 (Marley, Bice, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) in a stunning move, ordering the destruction of all evidence gathered to shield Scott Walker and his campaign funding team from being exposed in an election year. Randa's destruction-of-evidence order was stayed by a Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit's panel's order of May 7, 2014.

"We hereby stay the return-and-destroy portions of [Judge Randa's] injunction and order defendants not to disclose or use the information they have gathered, and that is within the scope of the injunction, pending further order of this court," reads the opinion and order (footnote omitted).

The Seventh Circuit's panel is composed of Diane Wood, William J. Bauer, and Frank Easterbrook.

Judge Randa is a frequent attendee of privately-funded all-expenses paid trips for judges at Koch-backed judicial junkets (Fischer, Center for Media and Democracy). Randa has also made corrupt rulings protecting the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from survivors of molestation and rape, shielding $10s of millions from bankruptcy proceedings, (Goodstein, NYT) after the archdiocese sought to shield their assets when Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan (now Bishop of New York) was Milwaukee's archbishop.

The Seventh Circuit's panel has set a September 9 hearing date for oral arguments after which Randa's incredible ruling is expected to be overruled, and the Club for Growth will then ask for a hearing (en banc) before the full Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit members or appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a continued injunction of the Wisconsin Consitional law enforcement official doing their jobs [see Question and Answer on John Doe Probe in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, (Patrick Marley) for more background].

The case is Eric O'Keefe and Wisconsin Club for Growth Inc. v. John T. Chisholm, Bruce J. Landgraf and David Robles et al.


A reader asked who represents the area targeted by the GTac mine in the Wisconsin legislature.

The answer is: In the Wisconsin State Senate, an election is being held this November featuring state Rep. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) and Dane Deutsch (a typical rightwing Republican Party nominee from Rice Lake who refuses to take a public position on the proposed GTac mine) for the 25th Senate District [to fill the seat of the retiring State Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) who complained that special interests and lack of transparency now define the Wisconsin Legislature under Republican control, so naturally Jauch is taking his pension and quitting, instead of fighting right in the middle of the battle against GTac].

In the State Assembly, an election is being held to fill the seat for Assembly District 74 held by State Rep. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) who is running for Jauch's seat. The race features Beth Meyers (D-Town of Russell, Bayfield County Board Supervisor), and a shady character named Jamey L. Francis, Republican City Councilman from Hurley, Wisconsin, and chair of the Iron County Republican Party.

Be very afraid, the sparsely populated Iron County is rife with political and judicial corruption. More on this Jamey Francis to come.

Aug 22, 2014

Pro-Water Group to Host Debate for Rep. Scott Krug and Dana Duncan

Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors and Rome and Saratoga Friendly will cohost a debate on October 6 between State Rep. Scott Krug (Wisconsin Rapids and ALEC) and Dana Duncan, the Democratic Party nominee for the 72nd assembly district.

Duncan has made his opposition to a proposed massive Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation (CAFO) that would abut four counties in central Wisconsin a centerpiece of his campaign to oust Krug.

Krug is a strong ally of Scott Walker's and Walker's transformation of the DNR into a corporation-friendly permit mill that has abandoned its historical mission of protecting Wisconsin's land and water.

Krug is still pursuing policies that vectors toxic runoff into aquifers and streams and lakes (resources making the region a tourism and recreational attraction) while pretending to champion water in the face of a citizen action against the proposed CAFO and increased liquid manure spraying in Wood County.

Yesterday, Krug after over two years of pressure from constituents finally came out against the proposed massive Wysocki CAFO in Juneau, Wood, Adams and Portage counties.

Krug still supports the several CAFOs operating in or near his 72nd assembly district, and remains a captive legislator in the pocket of the Dairy Business Association and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Scott Krug Joins Opponent in Call for No New High Capacity Wells, No Wysocki CAFO in Reversal

Dana Duncan, Candidate for
Wisconsin's 72nd Assembly District
is taking on pro-CAFO incumbent,
Scott Krug

Conversion or political expedience?

Updated - Whatever the explanation, grassroots activism still matters in central Wisconsin, and when a local citizens' groups forces a corrupt political opponent to adopt qualified agreement with their positions, the grassroots can claim victory.

Ask Protect Wood County and Rome and Saratoga Friendly and their two-plus years opposition to a proposed massive, Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation (CAFO) by the Wysocki corporation in northern Adams and Wood County (and abutting Juneau and Portage counties and the area stream, the Ten Mile Creek) in central Wisconsin.

State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids and ALEC) is as cynical and craven a politician as I have seen in Wisconsin politics, and this is plunging the depths of today's Republican Party dominated by corporate-owned extremists.

In this triumph of grassroots activists, citizens have pushed Krug to join Krug's general election opponent, disability rights attorney Dana Duncan, into opposing the proposed giant CAFO by the Wysocki corporation in a spectacular reversal on Krug's part who cited soaring level of Ecoli in area lakes (reported last week) and beaches as the rationale behind Krug's new position.

A common site in the Town of
Saratoga in Wood County
The high levels of Ecoli are caused by existing practices of Wysocki and other Big Ag operations dumping cow manure runoff into area streams, lakes and aquifers, and water activists have been warning about Ecoli for years.

Krug has known of Ecoli and other pathogen concerns for years thanks to the work of this constituents.

Facing a groundswell of opposition, Krug announced his opposition yesterday, the same week Protect Wood County and Rome and Saratoga Friendly jointly announced they are co-sponsoring a debate between Krug and Duncan to take place October 6, and the same week Krug said he is filing a libel suit against MAL Contends for pointing out Krug is cynical, corrupt and willing to support dumping toxins into area streams and lakes.

Opposing the Wysocki CAFO is better than telling CAFO opponent, Nancy Koch, to "quit your bitching," as Scott Krug said on July 19, 2012 at a special Saratoga Town Board meeting drawing 100s of people held at the Wisconsin Rapids Performing Arts Center.

Krug's press release announcing his reversal, 73 days from the November 4 general election, is reproduced below, as is his general election opponent's, Dana Duncan who excoriated Krug for waiting so long to come out against the proposed CAFO and high capacity water permits.

"It's obvious that the real reason for Representative Krug's sudden opposition to the CAFO in Saratoga and its high capacity wells has more to do with his floundering campaign than the high e coli levels in Nepco Lake and Lake Wazeecha," said Dana Duncan, Democratic Assembly Candidate for the 72nd assembly district now held by Krug. "For nearly three years local residents have vocally expressed their opposition to this project and up until now my opponent has refused to take a position on this critical local issue.

"This sudden change of heart on this critical local issue by my opponent is just a cynical attempt to distract voters from the fact that he has been wrong on this issue for nearly three years. This isn't leadership; this is simply a bold-face attempt at political manipulation. First, per diem, then term limits; how many other positions will he change to try to win this election?" 

Dana Duncan has long opposed the Wysocki CAFO and its requested 49 new high capacity well permits since the Wysocki Family of Companies formed two LLCs in 2012 and dropped like a bomb its plans to build the massive CAFO against the wishes of residents of this rural region called the Golden Sands.

The Duncan campaign said in a phone conversation this morning that Dana Duncan remains opposed to all new CAFOs under existing regulations devoid of wastewater treatment plans, noting there are several CAFOs now operating in and near Krug's district, and Krug has only come out against one proposed CAFO.

Duncan said opposing one proposed massive CAFO out of "political expediency" is smart politics, but Krug's horrid record on the environment remains.

The Central Sands region relies heavily on tourism and recreation, and northern Adams County, for example, is the site of a planned golf resort now imperiled by the proposed massive CAFO and its estimated some 60 million tons of liquid cow manure produced annually. In a phrase: PGA-rated golf courses and cow shit do not mix.

Citizen Ystad Responds

"I appreciate that Scott Krug has finally come out and said what should be realized all the way up the chain in Madison. The central sands area is already in trouble from over pumping of high cap wells, and with the closure of area beaches we are seeing the result of overreaching agriculture polluting our groundwater and surface water," said citizen Don Ystad of Rome, Wisconsin in an email this morning.

"Most importantly, the Rome/Saratoga recreational area, a major contributor to state tourism revenue, and inhabited by thousands of families, is not the place to put a large dairy CAFO. This is a strong statement from a man whose party has been the friend of big ag in many bill proposals, and Scott needs to be commended for saying the right thing."
Right here in our local Lake Nepco -
Attack of the Blue/Green Algae.
Our reps, both local and at the state level,
better start getting a clue!
Water worries everywhere!
Nepco Lake for E. Coli and blue-green
algae. Just kayaked in the nastiest
water EVER.
We must fix these issues."
Rhonda Cain-Carrell
For the politicians and agency people receiving this e-mail, please read carefully Scott's message. We have an environment in trouble here and in other parts of our state. Even ignoring the environment in trouble, there is the incompatibility of a large dairy CAFO sited within an existing, vibrant and growing recreational area. Everyone knows it doesn't fit here and stands to derail the tourism here. Why would you allow it to happen in the face of all these negatives and the nearly daily reporting of water issues all over the state?"

As a voter who cares about his environment, I need to know that the people I elect are protecting our environment, and our beautiful recreational area with the tourism dollars it can generate.  Many of us believe you can be a friend of agriculture and still do the right thing for the citizens in our state. I'm a concerned citizen and I vote."

Activism Pushing Environment

Personally, MAL Contends has been up in Wood and Adams counties some 10 times since 2012, and I can tell you that popular opposition against the CAFO is as strong a local political issue in Wisconsin this election cycle as I have seen next to the proposed GTac mine in Iron and Ashland counties in northern Wisconsin.

Krug's calling for a moratorium on high capacity wells in his district and his new opposition to the CAFO centered around Saratoga in the words of a long-time CAFO opponent appears as "a light on the road to Damascus. Or he [Krug] looked at the primary returns in Saratoga and Rome," referring the August 12 primary election that catapulted Duncan to a two-to-one victory over an opponent that Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate picked to run against the independent-minded Duncan.

Perhaps Scott Walker and Mary Burke will follow Duncan (and now Krug). Well, one conversion at a time.

Whether Krug was struck by lighting to borrow the Biblical allusion or the hard reality of losing an election against popular opposition, Scott Krug and Dana Duncan's Press Releases are below:

Scott Krug:


Madison –“With the news this week that Nepco Lake and Lake Wazeecha have disturbingly high levels of E. Coli (close to 30 times the level of safety) Representative Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) urged the DNR to deny the high capacity well permits currently being considered in Saratoga, and made the following statement:

"The progression of signs of deteriorating water quality ranging from lower lake levels to contaminated water bodies leads me to the believe that this area cannot handle increased pressures on water quality and quantity. Because of the serious concerns I have about the safety and quality of our water supply here in the Central Sands, I can't support the CAFO that is currently being considered for a high capacity well permits in Saratoga until those water quality concerns are addressed. While I appreciate the openness of the Wysocki family to negotiate on certain aspects of their project, it no longer appears that this project is feasible in any form, in an area that is so vulnerable for contamination. I ask the DNR to look into this E. coli outbreak and deny the high capacity well permits. 

"Our area has a long, proud tradition of agriculture and we definitely need to do whatever we can do to bring job growth to the area. But those considerations should not supersede the protection of the health and safety of our residents. Nor can they supersede the concerns associated with property value loss and decreased revenue from loss of tourism. 

“It was recently announced that the economic impact of tourism in Wisconsin went up 18% since 2011 to a staggering $17.5 Billion. The municipalities surrounding the Wisconsin Rapids area have started to pick up a great deal of steam in creating a new recreational haven for tourists from not only Wisconsin but all over the country. Compromising that momentum because of damaged natural resources would not be a wise long-term decision." 
CONTACT STATE REPRESENTATIVE: SCOTT KRUG:                     (608)-266-0216

Dana Duncan:

Duncan Campaign Forces Rep. Krug to Finally Listen to Constituents on Saratoga CAFO 

"It's obvious that the real reason for Representative Krug's sudden opposition to the CAFO in Saratoga and its high capacity wells has more to do with his floundering campaign than the high e coli levels in Nepco Lake and Lake Wazeecha," said Dana Duncan, Democratic Assembly Candidate. 

"For nearly three years local residents have vocally expressed their opposition to this project and up until now my opponent has refused to take a position on this critical local issue." Duncan continued, "In contrast, I've listened to these residents concerns and have taken a firm stance against high capacity wells which fail to consider overall impact to the area as well as all CAFOs in Wisconsin. I hope he will examine my other proposals and adopt them also.” 

"This sudden change of heart on this critical local issue by my opponent is just a cynical attempt to distract voters from the fact that he has been wrong on this issue for nearly three years," said Duncan.  This isn't leadership; this is simply a bold-face attempt at political manipulation. First, per diem, then term limits; how many other positions will he change to try to win this election?” concluded Duncan. 
Campaign Contact: 
Thomas Duncan 
Campaign Manager 
Duncan for Assembly 715-451-0503

Proposed Golden Sands Dairy, in Saratoga, in Adams and Wood Counties, Wisconsin